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News

Friends and family show “Love for Larry” in support of resident’s battle against cancer

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Larry Theriault was definitely feeling the love last Wednesday night. At an event hosted by the Wardhurst Restaurant & Bar, over 250 friends and family members close to the 24-year-old descended on the premises to offer love and support and to raise money for Theriault, who is battling a genetic form of cancer.

Theriault, who is a Peabody High School graduate, couldn’t say enough to thank his fellow friends and family for the party. “It’s the greatest feeling in the world,” Theriault beamed. “Even though I don’t feel well, it’s having all this support that gets me through.”

Theriault, who is a writer, had his books on sale at the event. A prolific writer, he has a children’s book published, “14 Steps Away,” and has had his stories run in magazines in the United Kingdom. He said he was initially inspired to write through creative writing classes he took at Peabody High School, and from there his interest blossomed into a full-grown career.

The Wardhurst graciously closed its doors for the party, which included live music, a live silent auction and a raffle. Funds raised from the event will go towards paying for an experimental drug that he and his family hopes will help him fight the disease. Peabody High School also presented Larry with a $1,000 check from funds they raised in his honor.

Valerie Koen was the main person responsible for organizing the event. “He’s such a happy kid,” Koen said. “He’s an inspiration to a lot of people here.”

By Melanie Higgins


 

Mayor pens letter seeking to keep pot shops away

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Any plans to bring marijuana shops to Peabody could soon be going up in smoke. On Wednesday, February 1, Mayor Ted Bettencourt addressed a letter to his colleagues asking for their support in banning marijuana shops from entering the city.

The move comes nearly three months after the state voted overwhelmingly to legalize the recreational use and sale of the substance. Since then, numerous communities around the Commonwealth have grappled with how best to address the new law, of which many details are left notably absent. The law leaves out key regulatory features and the issue of operating under the influence. Some communities, including Peabody, feel that the lack of detail in the law is a sticking point for their decision to keep marijuana sales outside their borders.

“There are a great many unanswered questions regarding implementation of the new law and its effect on public safety. As city leaders, we must confront this issue in a manner which respects the apprehensions of so many of our fellow citizens,” Bettencourt said in his letter.

Peabody voters said no to legalization, 54-46%.

On Thursday, February 16, the Legal Affairs Subcommittee will meet at City Hall to discuss the issue further. According to City Council President Joel Saslaw, the issue is likely to go to a referendum at the next election this coming November. That is, if it is passed by the City Council.

In a conversation, Saslaw said that he supports the mayor’s decision: “I agree with the mayor. I think it’s a proper request and it makes sense.”

By Melanie Higgins


 

Relay for Life event kicks-off in Peabody

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The race is on. Last Tuesday night the American Cancer Society kicked off Peabody’s annual Relay for Life event at Peabody High School. More than a dozen supporters of the cause gathered at the school to express their support and to listen to a survivor, Rosie Flynn, testify about her battle and victory over the disease.

Flynn, who was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer in 2011 and has more than five years as a survivor, said she wouldn’t be here without the support of her family. In response to her diagnosis, her husband and daughters responded by creating a since wildly successful annual dance show, called “Move for the Movement,” aimed at raising funds for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life. Since the show’s inception, it has raised $65,000 in five years.

“I didn’t think I was a hard fighter,” Rosie said, “but I am here nine surgeries later and I’m a better person. I wasn’t going to give up.”

Flynn received the majority of her treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston, where she endured 30 rounds of radiation. She said that the Relay for Life has been a source of strength and inspiration for her while she dealt with her disease, and that it has created a “whole new family” for her.

“Cancer can hurt you, but it can’t eat you alive,” Flynn said. “If you know anyone who is struggling, give them a hug and tell them that people care.”

As part of the ceremony, Flynn’s daughter Jessica got up and performed a dance routine to an instrumental version of British band Coldplay’s song “Fix You.”

Relay for Life is the largest volunteer cancer event in the world. Started in 1985, it takes place in more than 5,200 communities in 20 countries around the world. The relay, which takes place overnight, symbolizes the reality that “cancer never sleeps.” Participants, many camping in tents overnight, walk in teams that “relay” each other around a track nonstop until the event is over, raising funds according to how many miles they log. This year will be the 23rd year Peabody has hosted the event.

Less than two months into 2017, the Peabody/Danvers chapter of the Relay has raised almost $9,000, has 45 participants registered, and 14 survivors attending. Overall it hopes to raise more than $100,000 and get over 500 people registered.

This year’s event will take place Saturday, June 3 to Sunday, June 4 from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. at Peabody High School Upper Fields. There are two ways to register. Either go to www.RelayForLife.org/PeabodyMA and click “Join this Relay”, or call 877-957-7848. To find out more about Flynn’s “Move for the Movement” project, visit www.move4tm.org.

By Melanie Higgins


   

Peabody utility boxes to get a makeover

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Peabody is launching a new initiative that seeks to make the city a little bit more colorful. Starting on May 20, a few chosen local artists will have the opportunity to take seven of Peabody’s drab, ordinary utility boxes and make them into something entirely their own.

The initiative, dubbed the “Outside the Box Mural Project,” will be led by the Community Development Department in partnership with the ArcWorks Community Art Center, the Department of Public Services and the Fire Department. According to a statement from the project, “The Outside the box Project has been created to focus on community pride and enhancing visual aesthetics in the neighborhood. The primary goal is to bring art to unexpected places.”

All of the boxes are located along Main and Lowell Streets. Artists are encouraged to apply by submitting a sample of their proposed design and by completing an application, which is available on the city’s website. Those chosen to undertake the project will be given a $750 stipend, which includes artist fees, paints and materials. Artists do not need to be at least 18 but those below that age will need their parent’s consent.

According to guidelines, the proposals will be judged on “creativity, community pride, originality, and appropriate regard for the nature of the space and the audience.” Proposals that contain art that is plagiarized, copyrighted or has trademarked logos, harmful or inflammatory content, or collages will not be accepted.

Submissions are due by 3:30 p.m. on April 13, 2017. Applications can be returned to the following address:

Lucia DelNegro/Outside the Box Project

Peabody City Hall

24 Lowell St.

Peabody, MA 01960

For more information contact Lucia DelNegro at 978-538-5782 or by emailing at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

By Melanie Higgins


 

Suspicious package found near Bishop Fenwick leads to evacuation

At 12:02 on Monday, February 6, police received a call about a suspicious package left unattended outside of Bishop Fenwick High School. The package, which was a suitcase, appeared to have wires sticking out, contributing to the concern.

According to Captain Dennis Bonaiuto of the Peabody Police, the scene drew the State Police Bomb Squad, Fire Department, Chief Griffin and the Police Department, the K-9 Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

After investigating it was determined that the suitcase contained “scrap electrical components,” and was harmless, according to Det. Michael Crane with the Peabody Police.

After waiting in the auditorium, which was located far enough away from the package, students were allowed back in the school at 1:28 p.m.

By Melanie Higgins


   

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